Israel’s Medical Cannabis Bottoms Out

We are at war now, in Israel. An internal war. Mothers of children with epilepsy and autism who were stabilized with medical cannabis now face an absolute lack of the oils their children need on September 1.

As I write, mothers have decided to “cross the line” and flood the media with videos of their children seizing. Of course, they were never willing to resort to such an invasion of privacy ever before. But, as one veteran told me today, “We are at war — we owe this to our children.”

How in Heaven’s name have things come to this?

Israel Medical Cannabis Authority seems to have been running circles around their clients instead of insuring their treatment. There are two lines here, so have some patience.

Line one: The “Reform” of IMCA has changed supply from growers to pharmacies. SO what? But what is allowed in the pharamcies is not exactly what patients have been getting. The strange idea — unique (I hope) to Israel — that all that there is to cannabis is THC and CB .The Lord of the Universe seems to wasted time and energy with hunbdreds more molecules, but no worries, IMCA will improve on His sloppy work. Pharmacies will provide mixes of the different strain according to CBD and THC, and this is in the name of “science.” All license renewals were to go straight to the pharmacies, and practically none of thousands of children, for example, will be able to continue torecieve what trial and error has proven beneficial to them. That meant all successful treatments would be suspended for a dangrous and irresponsible restart. Well, IMCA “changed their mind” about this and allowed autistic and epileptic children to continue with the usual procedure for another year. SO the paper line was settled for a while

Line two: Children receive oils almost entirely from Better and Tikkun Olam. There have been gllitches with these companies, but  thousands of children depend on their oils. But it just so happens that IMCA CEO Landschaft has been going after getting them both closed down – on September 1. The reasons? Very shrouded in mystery and mumbo jumbo, but by all accounts nothing that could not wait until thousands of kids are provided an alternative. Get it? You can keep your license – but you cannot get your treatment. Finito!

That is why mothers are going to war.

I myself have visted two Chassidic Rebbes and one Knesset member trying to have an impact. I have not succeeded.

I call on anyone with political, rabbinic, moral, or financial inflluence to help Israel not to endanger our children and not to force mothers to fight for the lives of their children.

About the Author
Alan Flashman was born in Foxborough, MA, and gained his BA from Columbia, MD from NYU, Pediatrics, Adult and Child Psychiatry specialties at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Bronx, NY. He has practiced in Beer Sheba since 1983, and taught mental health at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University. He is currently CEO of Family Instiute of Neve Yerushalyim, sponsoring a first fully accredited post-masters training in family therapy for the Haredi community. Alan has edited readers on Therapeutic Communication with Children (2002) and Adolescents (2005) in Hebrew, translated Buber's I and Thou anew into Hebrew, and authored Losing It, an autobiography, and From Protection to Passover.